Ritchie\’s economics nailed dead.

“You compare the nation to a parched piece of land and the tax to a life-giving rain. So be it. But you should also ask yourself where this rain comes from, and whether it is not precisely the tax that draws the moisture from the soil and dries it up. You should also ask yourself further whether the soil receives more of this precious water from the rain than it loses by the evaporation?”
? Frédéric Bastiat

Well, that\’s that then. When Ritchie is out thought by a dead Frenchman I think we can put the matter to rest really.

26 comments on “Ritchie\’s economics nailed dead.

  1. so higher taxes actually make the economy dry up and wither away?

    now, what does that idea predict for the correlation between tax/GDP and GDP/capita?

  2. Far better to have the blood-tied privileged and the rapacious drink all the water and then piss all over everything, I’m sure.

  3. The question is: at what point do diminishing returns to government spending kick in? The anarchists say immediately. As a Moldbuggian, I’m quite happy to accept that imposing a legal system by force can be productive: involuntary legal systems add value.

    Not 50% of GDP though: that’s way beyond it.

  4. so higher taxes actually make the economy dry up and wither away?

    Bastiat’s not saying that, he’s saying that you can’t get any more production from taxation.

  5. Simplicity and elegance? Maybe; I’m a fan of elaborate analogies, specifically pertinent with the unintended juxtapistional hosepipe ban stuff, cos nothing runs out, right?

    Surely you’re all having a laugh, though? Aren’t you? Sirrsly?

    I do wonder what type of egg you’ve hatched from, frequently. Except Gillies, who was wanked from a gibbon. That’s a given gibbon.

    It’s like being in a room full of Victorians, like the cariactures of bastards that are so easily realised. Probably a bit further back than that, hmmm?

    Dead Frenchmen, dead Scots, dead fucking heads?

    Are you all imbeciles? (Gillies, no need to raise your hand, you can have some special attention later)

    Not once. Not ever once have any of you been able to match the productivity and industry of the likes of Murphy, the TJN, and the global reawakening of common sense.

    It’s always bigotted rubbish a sixth former would be proud of, coming from the dead heads of a mid life crisis living in complete luxury. You don’t want to make things better.

    You want to piss on people you don’t like.

    Truly, to utter the complete bollocks that infects the rational, like some unwanted deviant porn, like most of you do without offering anything – shut up Worstall, your previous response to this was to produce a turd and offend humanity by daubing a cock next to a spastic, in reverse order; a bunch of lies based on a book you once read, like the Bible, or the Beano…. no the Bible is more apt, considering the reverence you give to inexplicably vague and baseless prophecy, and then have the gall to criticise everything else, is astonishingly immature. That’s why I swear. That’s why Murphy gets you hard and angry. How dare there be other interpretations! My dad is bigger and richer than yours! Sod that, I’ve got a fucking mansion, and a gun! I’ve got a fucking gun! I am right!

    Oh yeah, and Gillies is a wanker.

    That is how you come across. Nothing cogent or realistic, just vanity. Just recitation from failed ideologies. Making make belief for the bigotted intellectuals.

    Incidentally, probable typos above notwithstanding, I am far, far more intelligent than you. Therefore you are wasting your time moaning.

    Fucking move on. Move on.

    as a ps, you know most folk see Adam Smith in a very different context than Worstall. It’s a pile of old shit comparing your equations with his text.

    A complete pile of old shit, daubed on a wall that looks like a feminist abortion on the minimum wage, saying “Teh Gayers” about a million times.

    When it was never very funny or clever. Really? Sirrsly? Argle-bargle? Never.

    Hanging from a lamp post.

  6. “Not once. Not ever once have any of you been able to match the productivity and industry of the likes of Murphy, the TJN, and the global reawakening of common sense.”

    That part alone makes me think that you are a Tim fan parodying a Ritchie-fan troll. How meta.

  7. Arnald’s comment, and the fact that it remains uncensored, is one of the most potent arguments in favour of free speech that I have ever seen.

  8. The thing usually said about “common sense” is that it is neither common nor sensible. Arnald’s got the not-sensible down pat and is making a decent play at being uniquely moronic.

    It’s a pity he’s “far, far more intelligent” than us, because he’s doing such a good job of playing an idiot. I wonder if he’s going to give up his busking for the pub’n’club comedy circuit?

  9. http://timworstall.com/2012/04/02/ritchies-economics-nailed-dead/#comment-92152

    “‘so higher taxes actually make the economy dry up and wither away?’

    Bastiat’s not saying that, he’s saying that you can’t get any more production from taxation.”

    I’m not sure that Bastiat is saying that.

    Only anarchists think that you can’t get any more production from taxation. Most people think that actually the state does add value for the first marginal pound it spends, just not for the seven-hundred-billionth.

    The anarchists might be right, of course. And/or Bastiat might have been an anarchist. But I don’t think he was. I think he was talking about marginal state spending once the state is spending a lot of GDP.

  10. No, he’s saying it’s a zero sum game in this context. Every franc spent by the State is a franc not spent by the private person. He wrote quite a lot on that theme.

    Whether or not “most people think that actually the State does add value for the first marginal pound it spends” is not any sort of proof that it does. A State Pound can’t generate any more production than a Private Pound and, due to the well known inefficiences (not least, having to pay for tax collection) it will generally generate less production.

    That isn’t an argument against any state spending. I’m in favour of lowering GDP a bit in return for a court system. But they’re two contrary goals.

  11. James, IanB, isn’t he just saying (in this quote at least) that we have to do a net benefit calculation?

    That while there might be a benefit from the State spending, there is also a cost for the tax needed to pay for it, and that we need to deduct one from the other to discover whether the process as a while was actually beneficial?

    In this quote he doesn’t yet seem to be saying anything about whether the answer to that sum is positive or negative, just that we have to do the sum. We shouldn’t just look at the benefit without taking account of the costs.

    Even that simple fact is a lesson that Murphy still does not seem to have understood.

  12. Well, I’m a big fan of Bastiat and have read his work multiple times. My own exegesis on that basis is that he’s not talking about cost/benefit analysis. He’s just stating for the hard of thinking that the State cannot spend money it has not taken from the economy, in anwer to Socialists who try to pretend it can, it’s his classic “That which is Not Seen” approach.

    In practical terms, you can’t do a cost benefit analysis, because with State spending you only have the cost, and can’t measure the benefit with which to do the arithmetic, which is one reason GDP figures (in which all State spending is simply bolted on as “production” regardless) are such total bollocks. But I don’t think in this passage Bastiat is addressing that point. He’s simply describing the simple fact that 1 franc of State spending is -1 franc of private spending.

  13. Ross and Bob: I veer between thinking Arnald is Murphy’s foul-mouthed nom de plume, or just some bloke who must be seriously discomfited while typing this crap by having to periodically remove Murphy’s balls from his mouth in order to breathe.

  14. David Gillies
    I think you are spot on. Arnold is clearly a very complex character. How on earth he manages to hold down a job at the Guernsey Housing Association under the pseudonym of Laurence Aegerter truly beggars belief. He must be popping pills all day to suppress his obvious Tourette’s syndrome.

  15. Worstall is frequently profane and abusive. Your prediliction for his nonsense does not make my satire any less true.

    What usually happens is that Tim picks up a point, pedantically wrangles it, and then four or five of you pop up and go “yeah hanging’s too good” and “if i’d run over him i’d reverse” and “they’re so fat that if they walked into a room, ah fuck it – WGCE” (your jokes are THAT good)

    Phil. I was posting as Arnald. breaking anonymity is pathetic, especially on pointless sites like this. Big man (or probably small girl).

    Weevil
    You all bang how much more intelligent and knowledgeable you are than everyone else. It was fucking parody. Jesus wept.

    The point remains valid though, you can get all frothy over the ins and outs of a cat’s arse about some text, but the contribution it offers to the real world is not how the real world may interpret it.

    Get out there and practice what you preach if you think you’re all so damn wonderful. that’s the nutshell.

    Now here’s a selection of my greatest hits…

  16. I was posting as Arnald. breaking anonymity is pathetic, especially on pointless sites like this.

    Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing, time after time, and expecting a different result.

    Anonymity is a one-break paradigm. Abuse the nym or just get careless, you might as well bin it. You abused it, it’s broken, your choice. Pretending it’s our fault that you are a exquisitely poly-prat is just silly. But, then, you’re Arnald …

  17. “Pretending it’s our fault that you are a exquisitely poly-prat ”

    Good, solid work, Weevil.

    And who’s this “our”?

    Some chump abused it, and I like the name. What pretence?

    “our”. Priceless! Stand up for Jeebus! Nobbers unite and insult about 3 people, over and over! Happy days!

  18. Some chump abused it, and I like the name.

    Anonymity is like virginity. You lost it. Live with it. Or chose another nym. Stop pretending we’re doing evil unto you because we now know who you are.

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